United Airlines gave away toddler's seat, mom says

Shirley Yamauchi said United Airlines gave a standby customer the seat she purchased for her 2-year-old son, forcing her to carry the boy on her lap during a flight from Houston to Boston.
2:17 | 07/06/17

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Transcript for United Airlines gave away toddler's seat, mom says
There is another black eye for the airline tri this morning. United forced to apologize after a toddler's ticket was taken away by mistake forcing him to sit on his mom's trip lasting more than three hours. Linsey Davis has the story. Good morning, linsey. Reporter: Good morning. Shirley Yamauchi was on her way to Boston for a conference when she was forced to give up her 27-month-old son's seat for a standby passenger. She says her son is 25 pounds and half her height which not only made for an uncomfortable flight. She said she temporarily lost feeling in her legs and left arm. Shirley Yamauchi was traveling with her 27-month-old son taizo paying near Aly thousand dollars for each ticket. Tickets were scanned without any -- without any incident of the I didn't see any difficulty or anything strange. Reporter: All of a sudden she says a passenger who was on the standby list arrived at the aisle with a ticket for her son's seat. The flight attendant when I led her know that these were my seats and she came back and told me that the flight's full and she shrugged and that was the end of it. Reporter: Yamauchi said she was forced to hold her son on her lap for the 3 1/2-hour flight seen in these photos crammed in the area. She says she didn't want to cause a scene like last April when united made headlines dragging a doctor off his flight in order to give his seat to another passenger. I didn't want him hurt especially. I, of course, feared my personal safety with everything I've seen with united airlines. I didn't want to see anybody get hurt. Reporter: According to the FAA, the safest place for your child on an airplane is in a government-approved child safety restraint system or device, not in on your lap. You aren't capable of holding your child securely especially during unexpected turbulence. And according to united's own manual, only children under the age of 2 are allowed to travel on an adult's lap. On Wednesday, united issued an apology to the mother and in a statement to ABC news they said we inaccurately scanned the boarding pass of Ms. Yamauchi's son. As a result her son's seat appeared to be not checked in and we released his seat to another customer. We are also working with our employees to prevent this from happening again. No doubt uncomfortable, I'm sure she'll be well compensated. Good thing they apologized. Thanks so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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